Oz sets pay-TV content rules

The Australian Broadcasting Authority has issued draft guidelines on local content rules for future pay-television drama service Down Under.

The legislation calls for 10% of all program expenditures each year be spent on new Australian drama programs, and the guideline definition includes co-productions with countries that have signed co-production agreements (such as France and Canada).

Daytime soaps are out under the guidelines, but longforms, miniseries and telefilms all count for content, as will locally made feature films.

ABA chairman Brian Johns said the 10% rule “will ensure that the new pay-TV industry contributes to the development of creative local product, by securing industrysupport.”

The ABA sees the 10% as a minimum and rules that it should be spent on programs that have not been seen on another TV service.

The value of program rights as applied to the 10% rule will be strictly controlled, with secondary sales by the pay-TV operator to other services being deducted from the original purchase price.

With the second Chinese-launched, Hughes-built Optus B2 satellite lost in space after failing to orbit last month, plans for any Aussie pay-TV service are facing a delayed start date–now possibly mid-1995.

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